When the unrest began last year and became a national discussion a new group moved into Ferguson. The Oath Keepers were not trusted immediately by the locals. In fact, nobody really even knew who they were.
As one of the militias who assisted Clive Bundy in his standoff with the feds over cattle grazing rights, it was generally assumed that they were just another “sovereign citizen” militia. As such, the general public didn’t know who these new guys with guns were really there to shoot at.
After a year of claiming to be there to protect people from the police, it seems the people are finally accepting it. The problem is, the Oath Keepers’ national leadership doesn’t accept it. Apparently, the Oath Keepers’ national leadership were uncomfortable with the appearance of directly confronting law enforcement. The board recently withdrew support for an open carry march being organized in Ferguson, Missouri.
When asked by Fifth Column News if he was proceeding with the plan, former defense contractor Sam Andrews, organizer of the march, responded with, “Absolutely.” Andrews ran a tactical team within the Oath Keepers called the YETIs. They are the team responsible for all Oath Keeper operations that have been happening in the Ferguson area and will continue to help under their own YETI banner from here on out.
If there was any question about the intents of those in Ferguson before now, those will be put to rest. Andrews gives very specific (and ethical) reasons for splintering off from the Oath Keepers.
“Almost his whole board of directors are retired cops. This whole board of directors was OK with Oath Keepers at Bundy Ranch pointing rifles at feds, but not OK with a black open carry march. I can’t have my name associated with an organization that doesn’t believe black people can exercise their First and Second Amendment rights at the same time.”
A group of Oath Keepers in Florida also decided to break from the organization for reasons elucidated by a spokesman using the alias James Wise:
Unwilling to confront the cops. What the hell are we here for then? Who is going to violate the rights of the people? The Boy Scouts? If you plan on keeping your oath, you had better be willing to confront cops. We didn’t join this to hang out with other vets and tell war stories. I could do that at the VFW. I’m done with social groups. We all are. By the time this is said and done, the Oath Keepers will be another version of the Fraternal Order of Police. It’ll be part of the thin blue line. You’re from here, man. You know race isn’t a huge issue here, but I have to believe that an organization that is OK with a bunch of white guys pointing guns at cops in Nevada over grazing rights shouldn’t turn into complete [multiple expletives deleted] [cowards] at the thought of blacks just holding guns in a march protesting people getting beaten and killed by cops. You know there’s something wrong there, Justin. You can’t tell me you don’t think that’s really [expletive deleted] off.
To Andrews, in Ferguson, his mission is about more than just protecting the neighborhoods from riots. It’s about addressing the reasons riots start. His own men have been disarmed by Ferguson police as well as having their body armor confiscated. Nonetheless, the March will go on. He said that the main goal is to make sure that “every minority child sees that black men can openly carry to protect their rights.”